Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis in Arizona

Ready to Consult a GI Physician?

Find a Provider

Beginning in 1980, scientists noticed changes on liver biopsies in non-drinkers that resembled liver damage seen in chronic alcoholics. Excess fat cells were present in addition to signs of necrosis (dying liver cells) and inflammation. The condition was labeled non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. The presence of necrosis makes NASH a much more severe form of fatty liver disease. NASH patients are at an increased risk of progression to cirrhosis (where scar tissue builds up in the liver). If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with or is at significant risk for developing NASH, then please request a consultation at Arizona Digestive Health. Our skilled gastroenterologists in Phoenix, AZ can help you on the path to better digestive health.

Certain conditions put people at an increased risk for developing NASH. These conditions include:

  • Type II diabetes
  • Obesity – typically more than 10 percent over ideal weight
  • High blood fats, especially high triglyceride levels
  • Taking certain drugs like prednisone, estrogen, amiodarone, and tamoxifen
  • Intestinal bypass for obesity
  • Extensive surgical removal of the small intestine
  • Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)

There are often no outward signs of NASH until the disease has progressed to cirrhosis of the liver. When symptoms are experienced they can include:

  • Loss of apetite
  • Itchy skin
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Mild abdominal pain

If you are experiencing any combination of the above symptoms or are at elevated risk for developing NASH, please request a consultation with our providers at Arizona Digestive Health. Our gastroenterologists have experience in the treatment of NASH in Phoenix, AZ.

As there is no cure or therapy known to reverse fatty liver disease, treatment is typically aimed at addressing the underlying cause of the illness. Medications that may be causing NASH should be discontinued or changed if possible. Diabetes should be effectively managed and blood sugar levels better controlled. Persons with high serum cholesterol and triglycerides would be advised on methods to reduce those chemicals. Patients who are obese are typically advised to lose weight through a diet and exercise program that Arizona Digestive Health providers can help supervise. Some reports suggest the use of ursodeoxycholic acid (URSO), a natural bile salt, may be beneficial. If you require treatment for NASH in Phoenix, AZ, please request a consultation with our team to learn more.

Find A Provider Find A Location
What are the main differences between NASH and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?

NAFLD and NASH are forms of fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is characterized by the accumulation of fat within the liver, but with this condition, no damage is present. NASH is a type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that also involves fat buildup in the liver. However, NASH can result in inflammation and damage, including scarring.

How do you recognize the signs of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis if there are no symptoms?

While there may be no observable symptoms of NASH, you may notice extreme fatigue or pain in the upper right abdominal area where the liver is located. In general, the first sign of liver disease is when cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, occurs. Cirrhosis can cause certain symptoms, such as:

  • Swelling in the abdominal area
  • Yellowish appearance to the eyes and skin
  • Itching
In the absence of treatment, what health complications can develop with NASH?

If left untreated, NASH may lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. Liver fibrosis is a condition that occurs when inflammation and scarring damage the liver. This scar tissue that develops can overcome healthy areas (cirrhosis), which could cause liver function to slow or stop altogether. Without care, these conditions may cause liver cancer and, ultimately, liver failure.

Is the damage caused by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis reversible?

Individuals who are in the beginning stages of NASH and have not endured extensive damage to the liver may be able to reverse the effects by incorporating lifestyle changes, like healthy eating, regular exercise, and weight loss. But if chronic or more severe damage has resulted, the effects of NASH may not be reversible. Our Arizona gastroenterology providers can provide more in-depth details and information about this disease.

If you are diagnosed with or at significant risk for NASH, then it is crucial for you to partner with an expert gastroenterologist who can help monitor and treat your condition. Arizona Digestive Health is partnered with the nation's leading physician-led network of gastroenterologists and is dedicated to providing patient-centric care that uses the latest in innovative treatment techniques. For more information about the treatments available for NASH in Phoenix, AZ, request a consultation at our location.

Dr. Wadas is a caring doctor who listens to you and is devoted in helping you correct the health issues that you may be dealing with.

N.R. Google

Dr Sawyer was thorough, patient, personable and methodical and did a great job explaining the why’s and purposes of tests being ordered. I highly recommend his services.

K.B. Google

The Dr. Is very down to earth. He listens and is an all around good guy and great Doctor

A.P. Google

Dr. Kavathia is an outstanding Doctor. So caring and knowledgeable.

L.W. Google

Very good experience for the first time. Only reason I didn’t give 5 start is because I was poked more than ones for IV. All stuff is amazing regardless!!!!!

R.R. Google


Total Reviews


Average Rating